By Lucy Smillie - Our intern Lucy visited the Wellington City Mission recently and met with City Missioner Murray Edridge, where she learnt about the range of services the charity provides and walked through their social supermarket.
Lucy learnt that the Mission’s main areas of focus are responding to housing shortages, offering food support, and mobalising volunteering.
Murray told Lucy that through these focus areas, the Wellington City Mission strives to empower, transform and fulfil the lives of those that they support.
“Our job is to help people that are doing life really tough and to walk alongside them so they can live to the fulness of their potential,” said Murray.
One way that the Wellington City Mission does this is by providing transitional housing for people struggling to find and afford permanent homes.
Lucy learnt that alongside three other sites of transitional housing, the Wellington City Mission has a number of newly renovated appartments in central Wellington that are available for people who need them.
As well as providing shelter, these facilities allow residents to connect with the wider community in communal areas and staff provide around the clock support to help residents get back on their feet.
During her visit, Lucy also got the opportunity to walk through the Mission’s on-site social supermarket, which was celebrating one year since opening.
The idea for a social supermarket stemmed from a new building development that the Wellington City Mission is committed to in central Wellington.
“We got the opportunity to trial the supermarket here in Newtown,” said Murray, and it was clear to Lucy that the supermarket trial had been a success.
Lucy was impressed by the range of products available in the social supermarket - it was stocked full of essential items like sanitary products and toilet paper, and contained a range of food from canned beans to whole frozen chicken.
With an appointment, people who need food support can visit the social supermarket and work alongside a volunteer from the Wellington City Mission to choose items they need.
“We talk about the dignity of choice so that people who need food support don’t just get what we give them, but have the ability to come into the social supermarket and shop like the rest of us,” said Murray.
The Wellington City Mission also has a range of support services available for people who are struggling in different aspects of life.
From working with government agencies to advocate for people, providing one on one support and assisting people with social, financial and addiction services, the Wellington City Mission has services available to anyone and everyone who needs it.
However, the Wellington City Mission can’t do this good mahi alone and therefore they work hard to mobilize volunteering too.
The Mission has a large group of regular volunteers who help keep their services running. Volunteers assist in a range of areas such as running the community lounge and social supermarket and helping with general administration tasks.
“We believe that community should care for community and mahi aroha is an important aspect of that.”
Lucy was humbled by her visit to the Wellington City Mission and was blown away by the services that the charity provides and the number of people the Mission supports. She wants to thank the Wellington City Mission for welcoming her on-site and encourages everyone to support their work in any way they can.
The Wellington City Mission is in a period of huge and exciting growth and is always keen to hear from people who wish to volunteer. So, if you feel passionate about the work being done at the Wellington City Mission and want to give back, head over to The Wellington City Mission’s website and learn more about their volunteer roles here.